Hearty hash dishes are nothing to bash when made with quality meat, veggies

October 28, 1992|By Seattle Times

What a pity it is that so many people trash hash. This dish of chopped meat and potatoes with vegetables and seasonings makes one of the finest meals imaginable for breakfast, brunch or supper -- hearty, flavorful, honest food.

Hash got its bad reputation as an odds-and-ends kind of dish more than a century ago when it became associated with cheap restaurants called hash houses or hasheries.

Corn beef hash is the classic, but the following recipes illustrate how versatile this dish can be when made with quality meats and vegetables.

Chef Neil Stuart, who created menus for three San Diego restaurants, developed a colorful meatless potato, corn and pepper hash that includes diced red bell pepper, minced jalapeno pepper and potatoes sliced into matchstick sizes, instead of the traditional chunks.

Cookbook writer Sarah Leah Chase laces her smoky ham hash with color -- cubes of coppery rutabaga and minced red bell pepper.

Chicken and corn bread hash gets eye appeal from chopped red bell pepper and flavor appeal from cumin, cilantro and chopped jalapeno peppers.

Red flannel corned beef hash, a longtime favorite in New England, develops its dark red hue from chopped cooked beets. "The L. L. Bean Book of New New England Cookery" recounts that many years ago Haydn S. Pearson, a New Hampshire columnist, wrote about this specialty: "As a man comes through the wood shed with the milk pails on his arm, he inhales the smell and a smile lights his face. What better rewards for a long day's work digging potatoes or picking apples?"

The following recipe is from "Pacifica Blue Plates" by Neil Stuart.

Potato, corn

and pepper hash

N Makes 4 servings; approximate preparation time, 20 minutes.

2 large baking potatoes

1/2 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels

1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and finely diced

1 small jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced

1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

2 tablespoons margarine

1 tablespoon olive oil

Scrub the potatoes but do not peel. Cut each potato in half an each half into 1/4 -inch slices. Cut the slices into matchsticks. Wrap in paper towels and squeeze out the excess moisture.

Combine the potatoes, corn, red bell pepper, jalapeno, green onions, salt and pepper in a bowl.

In a large heavy skillet heat the margarine and olive oil over medium heat. Add the hash mixture and cook, covered, 20 minutes. As the hash starts to brown, turn occasionally with a spatula. Serve hot.

Data per serving: 238 calories; 4 grams protein; 9 grams fat; 37 grams carbohydrates; 403 milligrams sodium; 2 grams saturated fat; 6 gramsmonounsaturated fat; 2 grams polyunsaturated fat; 0 milligram cholesterol.

The following recipe is adapted from "Cold-Weather Comforts" by Sara Leah Chase.

Smoky ham hash

N Makes 6 servings; approximate preparation time, 40 minutes.

3 large red-skinned potatoes, scrubbed and cut into quarters

1 small rutabaga, peeled and cut into quarters

2 tablespoons margarine

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 medium red onion, minced

2 medium cloves garlic, peeled and minced

1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and minced

1 ( 3/4 pound) slice baked ham, cut into 1/4 -inch pieces

1 teaspoon caraway seeds

1 teaspoon white-wine Worcestershire sauce

freshly ground black pepper to taste

pinch cayenne pepper

2 tablespoons minced parsley

1 tablespoon country-style Dijon mustard

Place the potatoes and rutabaga in a steamer basket and set over boiling water. Cover and steam 15 minutes. Cool slightly. Cut into 1/2 -inch cubes.

Heat the margarine and olive oil in a large heavy skillet set over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and red pepper; saute 5 minutes. Add the potatoes, rutabaga, ham, caraway seeds, Worcestershire, pepper and cayenne. Cook over medium heat for 20-25 minutes, until the hash starts to get browned and crusty. Turn occasionally with a spatula.

Stir in the parsley and mustard; adjust the seasonings and serve.

Data per serving: 237 calories; 14 grams protein; 10 grams fat; 23 grams carbohydrates; 802 milligrams sodium; 2 grams saturated fat; 5 grams monounsaturated fat; 1 gram polyunsaturated fat; 30 milligrams cholesterol.

Chicken

and corn bread hash

Makes 6 servings; approximate preparation time, 1 1/2 hours, including time for baking and cooling the corn bread.

2 tablespoons margarine

1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped

1 medium clove garlic, peeled and minced

1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped

1/2 pound mushrooms, stems trimmed, thinly sliced

3 tablespoons canned chopped jalapeno peppers

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

3 cups crumbled corn bread

2 cups diced cooked chicken breast, cut into 1/2 -inch cubes (skin removed)

1/2 cup whipping cream

1 tablespoon minced cilantro or parsley

1/2 cup coarsely grated jalapeno jack cheese

In a large heavy skillet heat the margarine over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and bell pepper. Saute 5 minutes. Stir in the mushrooms, jalapeno peppers, cumin, salt and pepper; saute 5 minutes.

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